COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS OF PRINCIPALS OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AWKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE

Abstract

This study was carried out to compare the managerial effectiveness of principals of private and public secondary schools in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The study was guided by four research questions and one null hypothesis. The sample was made of 499 respondents; consisting of 37 principals and 462 teachers from 19 private and 18 public secondary schools in the area of study. The 499 respondents represented 92.92% of the entire population of 537 of study. The instruments for data collection were two structured questionnaires titled “Managerial Effectiveness Questionnaire for Principals” (MEQ) and “Principals’ Managerial Effectiveness Questionnaire” (PMEQ). The instruments were validated by three experts and the data collected were analyzed using weighted mean. The findings indicate that principals of both private and public schools are fairly effective in the management of human resources although the principals of private schools scored higher in their managerial effectiveness. As regards the other three resources-financial, infrastructural and learning resources-the principals of both private and public schools were quite effective. It was among others recommended that Anambra State Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) should facilitate the cross fertilization of ideas between the principals of private and public secondary schools in order to enrich themselves and find ways of further improving their effectiveness. There is need to review the way fund are disburse to the principals in public schools for infrastructural maintenance.  

Keywords: Managerial effectiveness, Public schools, Private schools.

Introduction

Management and leadership are important elements of any organization, however small or large. Every organization has its goals and objectives. This gives rise to the need to plan and mobilize resources, human and material for the realization of these goals and objectives.

The school is a formal organization and like every formal organization, it has its clear statement of aims and objectives, an organogram that shows the hierarchy of authority and responsibility, a division of labour and line of coordination and communication. Effectively welding these machinery for the achievement of the goals for which the school is set up, require effective management under the leadership of the principal. This is the reason behind the maxim that states that “an effective principal is a necessary precondition for an effective school” (Yu, 2009).

The goal of management is the optimization of the output and achievement of the organizational goals through a maximum utilization of resources. More specifically, Obi (2004), describes the goal of management in education in terms of planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating and directing the affairs of educational institution towards achieving educational objectives. In this study, an attempt is made to ascertain how principals as the heads of secondary schools in public and private schools in Awka South Local Government Area, arrange and utilize available resources, human and material, for the achievement of educational goals. The paper will also examine the difference in the effectiveness in the management of the public and private secondary schools in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Public schools are schools owned and managed by private individuals, voluntary agencies and churches.

Managerial effectiveness refers to the optimal utilization of available resources for the optimization of output. It has to do with the relationship between the input and the output. There is effectiveness if there is optimization of output relative to the input. Thus it has to do with efficiency. With regard to school administration, managerial effectiveness refers to the ability of school administrators to harness and channel the human and material resources available to the school towards the attainment of the goals of the school. Managerial effectiveness as regards education involves the processes under which the input by schools, that is, human and material resources and classroom dynamics, combine to produce educational output.

In this study, managerial effectiveness is considered in terms of the extent to which school principals in public and private schools coordinate their human, infrastructural, financial and learning resources for the achievement of the best organizational result seen as the accomplishment of the goals of the organization. In spite of the affordability of the public schools, more parents send their children to private secondary schools. According to Babalola (2004), the mushrooming of private schools in Nigeria today is the consequence of a reaction of the people to the ways governments have organized and managed public-owned schools in Nigeria, especially following the take-over of schools by the government in the 1970s. Ezekwesili (2006) stated that qualifications than their counterparts in the private schools, yet, teachers in public schools are less productive, less committed and less effective than their counterparts in private schools. Governments’ budget for education keeps increasing without a corresponding improvement in the result of students (Olisa, 2006). The result is a growing resentment for public schools (Abatam, 2005).

Against this background, it is important to do a comparative assessment of the managerial effectiveness of eh principals in public and private secondary schools. One may be interested in the gender of these principals, the location of the schools and their experiences. These may influence what they do, how they do them and the result they achieve (Danto, 2009). But the influence of gender and location of school on the managerial effectiveness of principals are left out of this study. Attention is simply focused on the assessment of the managerial effectiveness of principals through the perception of the teachers working with him or her and through the perception of the principal himself of herself.

Statement of the Problem

It is commonly agreed that the education system in Nigeria is crumbling. Brisaid and Caillod (2008) noted that the amount of learning and knowledge imparted in the public secondary schools is small when compared to the investment. They also observed that the learning lacks proper moral content when compared to the private schools. The physical facilities in public schools are either non-existent or in a deplorable state of disrepair and with high levels of indiscipline among students and teachers. All these result in poor school performance. Students from public schools therefore, do not compete favorably in academics, character and industry with those from private schools (Okechukwu, 2007).

The private schools on the other hand, are in better shape. According to Onyechere (2005) they have less instances of loitering, general indiscipline and examination malpractices, although it has to be noted that in some of these private schools, there is organized malpractice (2005). Embezzlement of funds and infrastructure decay are less rampant in private schools (Imam, 2008). The teachers to a larger extent cover their syllabus, mark the assignments and appear more committed than teachers in public schools. These raise questions about the effectiveness of the management of the public secondary schools. The aim of this study is to find out whether this sharp distinction that one observes in literature between the managerial effectiveness of principals in public and private secondary schools obtains in Awka South Local Government Area and to focus attention on items in which these principals differ significantly.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to compare principals’ managerial effectiveness in public and private secondary schools as perceived by the principals and teachers. Specifically, this study tries to compare the extent of managerial effectiveness of principals in public and private schools in Awka South Local Government Area State in relation to four parameters: (i) human resource management (ii) management of infrastructure (iii) management of school financial resources and (iv) learning resource management.

Research Questions

The research is guided by the following questions

(i)      How effective and the principals in public and private secondary schools with regard to the management of human resources in the school?

(ii)     How effective are the principals in public and private secondary schools with regard to the management of infrastructural resources in the schools?

(iii)   How effective are the principals in public and private secondary schools with regard to financial resources management?

(iv)    How effective are principals in public and private secondary schools in respect of learning resources management?

Hypothesis

  • There is no significant difference between the mean scores of private and public school staff on the managerial effectiveness of public and private secondary school principals in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The study adopted a descriptive survey design aimed at examining the managerial effectiveness of principals in public and private secondary schools in Anambra State. The study was conducted in Awka South L.G.A of Anambra State. The choice of this Local Government Area is simply because of proximity to the researcher. Secondly, apart from Aguata Local Government Area, Awka South Local Government Area has the largest number of secondary school in Anambra State. The third reason for this choice of this local government area is that it has the characteristics of urban and rural settings. This would ensure that geographical location of school as a variable with regard to managerial effectiveness of the principals is covered in the study.

The population for this study comprised 37 secondary school principals and 500 teachers in the area of study, 18 principals of public secondary schools and 19 principals of private secondary schools; 340 and 160 teachers of public and private secondary schools respectively.

The sample for this study comprised 499 (four hundred and ninety-nine) respondents which represented 92.92% of the entire population of study which was 537. This 499 respondents comprised 37 principals and 462 teachers randomly selected from the 19 private and 18 public secondary schools in the area of study.

Two sets of instruments were used to collected data. One was a questionnaire titled “Managerial Effectiveness Questionnaire (MEQ)” and the other, “Principals’ Managerial Effectiveness Questionnaire (PMEQ).” The MEQ was for principals to respond to while the PMEQ was for the teachers.

The response pattern was: A = All the time; B = Most of the time;

C = Some of the time; D = Very rarely and E = None of the times.

To ensure face and content validity of the MEQ and PMEQ, three copies of each were presented to two experts who are lecturers in Educational Management and Policy in Abia State University Uturu for validation and one expert in Measurement and Evaluation from the same University. The researcher effected the correction based on the observations of the validators before pulture to use.

The reliability of the instrument was conducted using Cronback Alpha; to achieve this, copies of the MEQ and PMEQ were separately administered on a sample of 10 principals and 10 teachers respectively from secondary schools in Enugu State. Thereafter, the mean ratings of the items for each of the clusters were coded in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences using Norusis (2005) guidelines. The scores were analyzed using Cronbach Alpha reliability scale. Coefficients of 0.71, 0.71, 0.89 and 0.71 were obtained for the four clusters in the MEQ respectively (standardized items alpha = 0.84). For the PMEQ, coefficients of 0.95, 0.92, 0.79 and 0.91 were obtained for the four clusters respectively (standardized item alpha = 0.96). These coefficients were considered adequate for the study.

The researcher with the help of two research assistants collected the data. Out of 537 copies of the questionnaire, only 499 copies representing 92.92% of the total copies administered on the principals and teachers were retrieved.

In answering the research questions, the respondents’ mean ratings for each item were computed as recommended in the index of Managerial Effectiveness by Hudson (2003). The aggregate mean for each cluster was computed separately for respondents from private and public secondary schools.

The hypothesis was tested with t-test on the mean scores of public and private school staff on the managerial effectiveness of principals with regard to the four dimensions of resources available in a secondary school – human, financial, infrastructural and learning resources. It was tested at the 0.05 level of significance. The decision rule was that a hypothesis was rejected if the calculated value of t exceeded the critical value and upheld if the calculated t was less than the critical value.

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